Tennessee's 5th congressional district
|Tennessee's 5th congressional district|
|Current Representative||Jim Cooper (D–Nashville)|
|Ethnicity||70.0% White, 23.6% Black, 2.0% Asian, 4.2% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% other|
The 5th is historically a very safe seat for the Democratic Party, due almost entirely to the influence of heavily Democratic Nashville. Some pockets of Republican influence exist in Belle Meade, and portions of neighboring Cheatham and Wilson counties undergoing rapid suburbanization. However, they are no match for the overwhelming Democratic trend in most of Nashville. While Republicans made several strong bids for the district in the late 1960s and early 1970s (largely over racial issues such as a 1971 busing order), they have only put up token candidates since 1972.
Demographics are a major factor behind the Democrats' near-absolute dominance of the political scene. Many conservative white voters (including Nashville natives) have increasingly moved out of Metro Nashville/Davidson County to more Republican suburban counties such as Williamson and Sumner. They have been replaced largely by liberal-oriented constituencies such as students (and alumni) of the Nashville area's several colleges and universities, music industry professionals, and white-collar professionals, in a manner similar to that of cities such as Atlanta, Raleigh/Durham, and Austin. In the entire state, only Memphis has a sizable constituency of liberal-minded whites like Nashville has. The clout of Nashville's African-American electorate, a traditionally Democratic constituency, has grown steadily in recent years as well.
Generally, the 5th is one of two seats in Tennessee that are usually not seriously contested by Republicans (the other being the 9th district).
History of district boundaries
Tennessee has had at least five congressional districts since 1827. The district's current configuration dates from 1951, when Tennessee lost a seat in redistricting. The Tennessee General Assembly shifted most of the territory of the former 6th District to neighboring districts, creating a 5th District located entirely in Davidson County. While other areas around Nashville have been added in subsequent years, the 5th has been drawn as a Nashville-based district ever since.
Below are the counties included in Tennessee District 5 from 1921 to 2000:
- 1921-1930: Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Rutherford
- 1931-1940: Davidson, Macon, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale
- 1941-1950: Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Giles, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Rutherford, Wilson
- 1951-1970: Davidson
- 1971-1980: Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson
- 1981-1990: Davidson and Robertson
- 1991-2000: Davidson and most of Robertson
Source: Tennessee Blue Books
List of representatives
|United States House elections, 2004: Tennessee District 5|
|Write-in candidate||Thomas F. Kovach||15||0.0|
|United States House elections, 2006: Tennessee District 5|
|Republican||Thomas F. Kovach||49,702||27.9||-2.8|
|United States House elections, 2008: Tennessee District 5|
|Write-in candidate||Thomas F. Kovach||4||0.0|
|United States House elections, 2010: Tennessee District 5|
|Independent||John "Big John" Smith||533||.3|
Source: TN Department of State
|United States House elections, 2012: Tennessee District 5 (Unofficial)|
Source: TN Department of State
- "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008". The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
- November 7, 2006 General Election Official Returns (Accessed 2006-12-11)
- House of Representatives member information, via Clerk of the United States House of Representatives
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